Welcome back to the blog, taken a break from writing due to some real world “events”. Today the overcast weather couldnt spoil an enjoyable and interesting time at the Food and Drink festival hosted by Chester racecourse.
At the entrance I couldn’t remember if I’d booked tickets in my real name or one of my numerous fake aliases. Thats the curse of the anonymous twitter account holder. Nice to see the crowds flocking to this event, and pretty weird to pass followers of the account, most of whom have no idea who I am including an early sighting of the famous Cllr Mike Jones ( he was judging the sausage competition ). Always weird when that happens. Saw a few people I knew from the real world as well so the day had a community feel to it with so many local producers and businesses from across Cheshire present. Aside from the usual array of cupcake stalls, fudge and the ever present pulled pork there was an interesting selection of continental produce, some amazingly lifelike tools (spanner, hammer etc) made from chocolate, exotic meats such as zebra burgers, champagne with gold dust in, giant meringues and fried potatoes spiralled round a skewer- the very popular Twisted potato stall. There was also an interesting stall selling chocolate covered fruit including a cleverly assembled spider- but sadly the vendor objected to photography/free publicity. Theres always one ! Everyone else was quite happy to be photographed including the team from The Saddleworth cheese company headed up by award winning cheese maker Sean Wilson (formerly Martin Platt in Coronation St.) Unlike Juan Mata, Sean was happy to take a flyer and pose for a photo. His cheese is available from Asda in Ellesmere port, and the new range of crisps supposedly from B&M. I met Sean once before at the Manchester Christmas market and he’s always happy to chat.
The food demonstrations were entertaining, even for someone whose staple diet is toast and fudge. First up I saw Tim Maddams making soup and croquettes and highlighting the massive problem of food waste. David Mooney , owner of The Lord Binning in Kelsall cooked some lamb and had a good banter with the crowd. Finally celebrity chef Michael Caines MBE made some pasta and crab bisque, followed by a chicken risotto. I was not familiar with Caines prior to this but was aware of his reputation and restaurant in the Abode hotel. I was surprised to discover that he wears a prosthetic arm, having been injured in a car crash twenty years ago. Found it pretty amazing that he had overcome this disability to achieve 2 Michelin stars. Caines was a relaxed demonstrator and joked that his head chef Tom, assisting on stage was “his right hand man,literally”
The event was busy all day and a far cry from the existential wander around the deserted post Christmas “wonderland”- funnily enough they have left the sign up for Mrs Claus’ story room. See for yourself tomorrow if you’re at a loose end, @chesterFDL have tweeted me to say that you can pay on the gate and if you mention @ShitChester it will be the concession rate of £6. All in all a great way to spend an Easter Sunday and an event that will hopefully continue to be a massive success in the future. I would like to see some of the stalls on the Christmas market this year as well. I would particularly recommend the cakes from The Little Round cake company, perhaps with a tea or coffee from “Caffeine Rush”- I had a good chat to the owner about Chester’s chances of relegation.
Happy Easter, off to put the zebra burger on the George Foreman grill